Mayor Kawakami to announce enhanced efforts to combat COVID-19 in response to anticipated new authority from Governor Ige on Monday;
Stay-at-Home requirements likely for all residents
News Release from County of Kauai, March 22, 2020
LĪHU‘E – Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, in consultation with Governor David Ige and the mayors of the other islands, expects to refine our county’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak very shortly.
We continue to have no evidence of community spread of the disease on Kaua‘i.
Each of the counties is independently developing responses, but working in close collaboration with each other, with state Department of Health authorities, emergency management leadership and the Governor’s Office.
Details of the Kaua`i Stay at Home program will be released on Monday, March 23. On rural Kaua`i, we already have a robust response platform in place, with limitations on public gatherings as well as night-time curfews. Mayor Kawakami is waiting for full authority from the governor to enact a coordinated response in order to fine tune our protections.
Under the expected guidance from the state, Kaua‘i residents will be asked to stay at home and work from home, to reduce the chance of catching or spreading this disease. We hope to keep a lid on the virus, and allow time to restock critically short supplies of masks, ventilators and other medical gear, including personal protective equipment for our first responders.
All travel will be prohibited unless for it is for critical health and safety purposes, shopping for food or other important consumer products. This anticipated order exempts those doing work that provides essential products. First responders, health care facilities, banks, gas stations, farming and fishing, hardware stores, delivery services, professional services, restaurants doing delivery and carryout services, and critical trades are among those that will keep operating.
Kaua`i residents could engage in outdoor activities, like walking, running, surfing and other healthy outdoor activities, but are urged always to maintain six-foot social distancing.
Mayor Kawakami wishes to convey his sincere mahalo to Kaua`i’s legislative delegation, and the Kaua`i County Council for their active coordination and support with the administration’s COVID-19 ongoing efforts.
Details of the Kaua`i Stay at Home program will be released Monday, March 23. This approach will be similar to ones used in San Francisco, Illinois and elsewhere.
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Nighttime curfew to go into effect starting Friday, March 20 in support of emergency efforts; Mayor’s tells visitors “Kaua‘i is on vacation”
News Release from Office of the Mayor, March 18, 2020
LĪHU‘E – Mayor Derek S.K Kawakami has implemented, via emergency rule, an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday, March 20. The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. daily until further notice. Every individual within the County of Kaua‘i must remain in their residence during these specified hours.
“This decision was made with three goals in mind - one, protecting and preserving our existing resources, two, managing the spread of COVID-19 by increasing social distancing, and three, ensuring that essential services, operations, and family care can continue,” said Mayor Kawakami. “After taking an assessment of what will likely be a very long journey for all of us and the amount of limited resources that we have, specifically public safety, first responder, and healthcare workers, we must take bold steps to ensure that our public safety officials, first responders, and healthcare workers have the necessary environment in which to keep us all safe.”
Mayor’s Emergency Rule #2 sets forth exceptions to the curfew, including:
1. Commuting to and from work;
2. Working for an essential service provider whose shifts are within the curfew window;
3. Delivery services associated with food service establishments or stores that sell food and household supplies; and
4. Seeking medical attention.
Our houseless community is asked to shelter in place and avoid movement during these curfew hours.
Mayor Kawakami also stated that airline travel to and from the island of Kaua‘i be limited to essential needs only. “Until further notice, visitors should not be traveling to our island for recreational purposes,” emphasized the Mayor. “Kaua‘i is on vacation!”
Further, vacation industry partners are urged to work with their marketing teams to refrain from marketing Kaua‘i as a place to visit during this time in order to protect the health and safety of the community.
“We understand that these measures will result in hardships for many of our business owners and residents,” added Mayor Kawakami. “But the longer it takes us to make these drastic decisions, the longer it will take us to get to a point of economic recovery.
Small business owners are urged to visit, "covid19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources" for a list of available resources. Additionally, workers experiencing layoffs should visit huiclaims.hawaii.gov for assistance.
A copy of the Mayor’s Emergency Rule #2 can be found online at our KEMA website dedicated to COVID-19, www.kauai.gov/covid-19.